The Bible has much to say about what we truly need to be content in this life. But how do we become content?
Choose our attitudes. According to the writer of Ecclesiastes three major components of contentment are to be joyful, to do good in our lives, and to enjoy life and work (Ecc. 3: 12 – 13; 8:15; 9:7-9). The writer explains that these are gifts from God (2: 24; 3:13). We all experience challenging seasons in our lives that can make it difficult to appreciate these gifts. But we must remind ourselves that we have the opportunity to choose whether or not we are going to be joyful, to do good things, and to enjoy our lives.
Realign our expectations. In 1 Tim 6:6-8 Paul stated that we should be content to have food and clothing. Living in the United States this almost seems unfathomable--just food and clothing? When we read the Gospels we can read how Jesus had “nowhere to lay his head.” The Father gave the Son only what He needed to do the most important job ever to be done on Earth. The lifestyle of most in this country goes well beyond food and clothing. Adjusting how we think about what we actually require to live is healthy, freeing, and continually challenging.
Don’t love money. There is a connection between contentment and not desiring money. In Hebrews 13:5 the writer instructed his readers that their character should be free from the love of money and they should be content with what they have because God said He would never leave them (Heb. 13: 5- 6). In Ecclesiastes the writer explained that the wealth of the rich will not allow them to sleep (Eccl. 5:12-13). The desire to have money pushes our dependence on God to the back of our minds.
Focus on the correct thing. Paul instructed the Corinthian Christians to stay in the same life situation they found themselves when they became Christians (1 Cor. 7:20). When we remove the focus from being on this life it frees us to focus on serving God and that will ultimately bring us the fulfillment we were striving for to begin with.
Learn our source of strength. In Phil 4:11–13 Paul stated that he learned the secret of being content regardless of his physical circumstances--“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” What a wonderful reminder to help us in achieving contentment.